As Christmas drew nearer I tried to look forward to opening presents and Christmas dinner. I had met a man who was handsome, blond, and tall. We played pool at the bar and by the end of the night he needed a ride home. I suggested he come home with me so I wouldn't be alone. We spent time together getting to know one another and as the days passed and two weeks or so went by he decided to move in with me. He’d take me to work and keep the car. He was always there to pick me up at the end of the night. One day my girlfriends at work decided to go to a restaurant bar to get something to eat and I had Randy meet me there. Everyone later remarked how good-looking he was and broad shouldered. I was starting to get happy again. Christmas Eve he picked me up from work and told me he had some bad news to tell me. Someone had "broken into my trailer and stole some Christmas gifts from under my tree and my VCR!! I was absolutely heartbroken and devastated as the main present that I had wanted to give Chuck, the Nintendo, was gone! I started searching through the rooms to see if my leather jackets were taken, crying as I went. I started searching through the rooms to see if my leather jackets were taken, crying as I went. I was broke and could not afford to replace the Nintendo. It was Christmas Eve and did not believe there would be any left. I went to Wal-Mart and they had one. I bought it and borrowed the money from Clyde promising to pay him back out of my next paycheck. I just couldn't believe someone could be so low as to take Christmas presents out from underneath my tree. I looked to Randy for support but he just said to quit crying and that it could have been worse.
On Christmas day we had Christmas dinner at Floy Mae's house. Mary Ann and Clyde were there. I told them what had happened and that is when I asked Clyde for the ten dollars I needed to cover the cost of the Nintendo. It wasn't long before Randy and I stopped getting along and he moved out. I really wasn't that attached as I had put up a sort of impenetrable shield since the fiasco with Bill. I had gotten my Glamour Shots back and decided I would take them to Bill's work at noon to show him whether he liked it or not. I opened the door where he and his co-workers were playing cards. I told him I had the pictures and he was going to look at them since I had bought them for him in the first place. He didn't seem interested but casually looked them over and tossed them aside one by one. The other guys sitting there perturbed that I was interfering with their card game shoved them over which felt like a slap in the face. I was the only one talking. He didn't utter a sound. I picked up the pictures and slid them back into the yellow envelope and left. I sat in the car crying my eyes out, went home and got ready for work.
On the 28th of December I was doing laundry at the Laundromat I went to on St Joe Ave. There were kids getting into everything and some were crying, some with no supervision, they had wandered in from the street to use the vending machine or to get change. I was bored and tired of the noise. While I was waiting for my laundry to dry I decided to head over to Ninth Street where my friend was staying. The one I had been seeing earlier in the summer when I wasn't sure if I was going to stay with Bill. I had brought my pictures to show him. I climbed the stairs and entered the building. There were more stairs to climb and when I got to the top and knocked on the door there was no answer. Sadly I started down the stairs, when I got to the bottom there was a large mirror on the right side of the stairs. I was always self conscience of the way that I looked no self esteem and no confidence. I stared at the woman I hardly recognized in the mirror when a man started limping down the stairs. He was using the handrail for a crutch as he made his way down. I asked him about the boys that lived in the apartment upstairs and he said they had moved out in October. He was living in the apartment next door now. I just started blurting out everything about Bill and Randy and how I had my Glamour Shots taken for Bill and he would hardly look at them. I couldn't believe how good they had turned out and that the woman in those pictures was me, I wanted to show them to everyone! Even my Director of Nursing was impressed; she had her pictures taken too! I was going to be forty in April and was going through some kind of midlife crisis. I couldn't believe that forty years of my life had gone by and I had done nothing but struggle. I wanted to see how the other half lived. I had been watching television as long as I could remember and I saw all the fun stuff that they did, talked to people who had gone here, there and everywhere and I felt stuck in a rut and was slipping further down. I wanted out of the life I had led so that I could start over and do things right and all I could seem to do was things wrong and deal with the pain as it came. There was a lot of it.
The man's name was Kelvin. He was tall and blond with blue eyes and broad shoulders. He explained his limp came from a car crash he had had a few years ago when he wrapped his truck around a telephone pole, several as it turned out and it was a miracle he was alive. They, the Doctors, had wanted to cut off his leg but he insisted they try something to save it, so they experimented and after a few bolts and screws his leg was saved, he just had to get used to the pain of everyday use and the limp. His hair was cut in a mullet; it was long and trailed down his back below his shoulders. He was more than happy to look at the pictures, he laughed and made me laugh, something I hadn't done in a long time. I told him I was a nurse at the hospital and had to go to work that very day. He said if I would come over when I got off, he would fix me a steak dinner with a baked potato etc. I was so lonely, and hungry, since Bill left I had lost at least ten pounds and hadn't been taking the time to eat or felt like it. When I went back to the Laundromat to get my clothes I started having second thoughts. After all I had just met this man, although that had not stopped me before but for some reason I was having these uneasy feelings about, "Here I go again!"
I went home, got ready for work, and started my evening shift at the hospital.
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